County homes built before 1978 may be at risk for lead poisoning

In the last three years alone, 349 children living in Sheboygan County have had elevated blood lead levels that may cause significant damage to their health. These children may develop behavior and learning problems such as hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems, and aggressive patterns of behavior.

Major sources of lead exposure include lead-based paint and leadcontaminated dust in deteriorating buildings and homes built before 1978. Despite the continued presence of lead in the environment, lead poisoning is entirely preventable. Stopping a child’s exposure to lead from leaded paint, house dust, or any other source is the best way to prevent the harmful effects of lead.

Increasing awareness of childhood lead poisoning prevention is particularly important in Sheboygan County where 41.3% of homes were built before 1950, when paint had the highest concentration of lead. The federal government banned the use of lead-based paint in 1978. “If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance it has lead-based paint,” says Karlyn Raddatz, Sheboygan County Public Health Officer.

The Sheboygan County Division of Public Health is participating in National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW), October 19-25. Established in 1999 by the U.S. Senate, National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) occurs every year during the last week in October. This year’s NLPPW theme, “Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future,” underscores the importance of testing your home, testing your child, and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects.

Parents can reduce a child’s exposure to lead in many ways. Here are some simple things you can do to help protect your family:

Get your home tested. Before you buy an older home, ask for a lead inspection.

Get your child tested. Even if your young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead.

Get the facts! We can provide you with helpful information about preventing childhood lead poisoning. Contact us at 920-459-3030 or

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